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Vinod Sridhar triumphs

Sports Reporter
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Winning smiles:Vinod Sridhar and Spurthi Shivalingiah, who won the AITA championship.
Winning smiles:Vinod Sridhar and Spurthi Shivalingiah, who won the AITA championship.

Tamil Nadu’s Vinod Sridhar battled from a near hopeless position to defeat Nitin Kirtane and claim the JGI Stalwart AITA pro circuit tennis championship at the KSLTA courts here on Saturday.

Down 0-4 in the second set after losing the first set, Sridhar launched a stirring comeback to stun a tired Kirtane in three sets.

The 38-year-old Kirtane battled exhaustion once again, barely moving in the third set which he lost 0-6. In his semifinal victory on Friday, the Kirtane looked in similar trouble in the deciding set, even calling for the doctor.

Earlier, Kirtane battled hard to win the first set in a tie-breaker, before capitalising on an error-prone Sridhar to race to a 4-0 lead in the second set. Sridhar then took over, romping home with powerful winners and a steady stream of aces. The doubles title proved elusive for Kirtane too, as his team went down to Elwin Anthony and Tariq Jacob 

Sridhar received a cash prize of Rs. 25,000, while women’s champion Spurti Shivalingaiah won Rs. 18,000.

The results (final): Men: Vinod Sridhar bt Nitin Kirtane 6-7 (3-7), 7-5, 6-0; Doubles: Tariq Jacob/Elvin Antony bt Nitin Kirtane/Saurav Sukul 6-3, 6-3.

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